Sunday, May 23, 2010

Crushed--But Free of Taint!

Good thing President Obama didn't "taint" the Iranian opposition with his support during their 2009 protests against the rigged June 2009 presidential election! Otherwise, we wouldn't--oh, never mind. Here it is:

It didn't take much for Iranian courts to sentence 10 people to death over the country's post-election turmoil. For one prisoner, the main evidence was that he allegedly sent videos of protests abroad.

The government accuses the 10 of leading unrest after the disputed presidential election, but none of them seem to have played any significant role in the protest movement. What most of the prisoners have in common is tenuous past links to a much-disliked exile movement, the Mujahedeen-e Khalq Organization.

The death sentences are widely seen as an attempt to cow the opposition ahead of the anniversary of the disputed June 12 election that sparked nationwide protests. They also reflect the regime's campaign to tarnish the opposition by depicting it as a tool of the MKO, an armed group that was largely wiped out in Iran in the late 1980s and remains widely reviled among Iranians.

I never understood why opponents of helping Iran's opposition could say that our help is counter-productive, when they also claim that President Obama is uniquely (in contrast to Bush) capable of inspiring the world's confidence in our actions. I'm sure the condemned will look at the bright side as they head to the gallows, knowing that they weren't tainted with President Obama's words of support.
What's left of hope and change when Obama can do no better than they claimed Bush could do?